Brian Bowman

People are a product of their physical environment

Winnipeg is a city. This truth is self-evident, but was apparently not on our mayor’s mind when he declared “I have no interest in offering a platform for the types of violent and harmful views” held by members of a misogynistic group that was planning a meetup this past Saturday. Bowman was joined by the mayors of Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver in denouncing the group – fans of the anti-feminist blog Return of Kings – and declaring them unwelcome in their respective cities.

Brian Bowman: leader by default

Brian Bowman is 14 months into a job that he put himself forward as best candidate for. He was elected based not on demonstrated service to our city, but based on the kind of service he promised for the future. Simply put, Bowman was elected because he convinced the majority of voters that he was a leader.

The city does not need a mayor to continue functioning – it has a bloated bureaucracy and self-satisfied council for that. The streets will be cleared, the potholes filled, without any notable input from the mayors’ office. The mayor must be expected to do more than sign the paperwork by which the snow-clearers and pothole-fillers are paid. The mayor should be expected to provide leadership.

The trouble with transit

Like any regular rider of buses in this city, I’ve come to hold a constant low level of loathing for the form of transit that I’m dependent on. The perennial lateness, overcrowding, and poor service to many areas of the city is just a fact of life that I’ve made my peace with.

When I heard that service was going to be reduced on several routes due to maintenance issues with the bus fleet my reaction was a study in indifference. It’s still nice out (warmest year on record, folks!), and I can still avoid buses by biking or walking. Come winter all bets for anything resembling regular service are off in a normal year, so I figured this year couldn’t possibly be worse.

But then I read that our mayor had said of the reduction in service that “The service level expectation needs to be more realistic than they were,” and my reaction was considerably more colourful than indifference.